Idaho’s water supply outlook looking strong

Hydrologists say Idaho’s water supply looks strong for the coming year.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, precipitation since the water year started last October is above average across the state, ranging from 110 percent of average in the Clearwater basin, to 200 percent in the Little Wood and Big Lost basins.

During February, the mountains areas received 150 to 500 percent of normal monthly precipitation.  The highest snowpack in Idaho can currently be found in the Big Lost, Fish Creek, and Little Wood basins, while the lowest snowpacks are between 90 and 110 percent of median in the Panhandle Region.

In the Clearwater basin, a series of storms in February increased the snowpack to more normal conditions.  Its current snowpack is exactly at the average.

Based on Idaho’s Surface Water Supply Index, water supply shortages are not expected.  In addition, plenty of soil moisture already in the ground may reduce the initial irrigation demand, which means additional water may be available to use or release.

Dworshak Reservoir sits at 97 percent of average, which is 66 percent of capacity.

Streamflow forecasts have increased since February 1st, and are now hovering right at or just above average for all forecast points.

As of March 1st, near normal water supplies are expected for the Clearwater Basin.  (NRCS)